Whether a personal piece or a commissioned piece, I start all my sculptures the same. I look through all my scrap and parts to see if I see the finished piece or parts of it in what I have. If all the parts are not there, I wait till they are or until I find what I call the heart piece. The heart piece is usually the first piece I find, and it gives me the vision of the way the finished piece will look. It gives me the starting point hence, “The Heart Piece.” Sometimes the heart piece can be very small and sometimes it can make up the majority of the piece. Either way, if it is not there, the piece feels wrong. The piece might still look good to others and overall be a great piece but it will lack that small extra that pushes it over the top. Almost all of my sculptures have a heart piece and to me would not be the same without it.
My non-parts pieces usually start with a heart piece also but the entire work is made from scrap or new metals. In other words I do not use any pre-made parts such as nuts, bolts, gears or the like. Presently I am studying paint and how to apply painting techniques to my sculpture. Some pieces I like raw with no paint so you can see the joints and welds, which sometimes add more life than paint ever could. Other times the paint is the heart piece and without it the piece is just undone.